Faculty-Specific Policies & Resources

Below you will find links to policies and resources you will find helpful as a HCDE faculty member.

Faculty Codes

Faculty meeting dates

HCDE faculty meetings are held approximately four times per quarter on Wednesday mornings. Find upcoming schedules here.

Resources for new faculty

Academic appointment process

Academic appointments are inclusive of new faculty, visiting faculty and scholars, part-time lecturers, and affiliate and adjunct faculty. There are numerous steps in the academic appointment process that extend from HCDE, the College of Engineering's Academic Human Resources Department, and the UW Academic Human Resources Department. The approval process can be initiated only once all the appointee's materials are received by the Assistant to the Chair of HCDE. Typically, an academic appointment will take a minimum of two work weeks for the approval process to be completed once all materials are received.

What follows is a standard academic appointment process for a part-time lecturer:

  • The HCDE Associate Chair of Academics or Learning identifies and confirms availability of appointee to teach in HCDE.
  • The Associate Chair generates email to the HCDE Chair, Assistant to the Chair, Administrator, Academic Services Manager, and Fiscal Specialist: the email details which course the appointee will teach, when the course is held (e.g., quarter, Day vs. Eve), the appointee's name, email, and phone number.
  • The Assistant to the Chair sends email to the appointee requesting current CV, UW bio form, and letter of recommendation (minimum of one letter).
  • Upon receipt of all materials from the appointee, a vote by the Executive Committee is required. The Assistant to the Chair provides the appointee’s materials to the Executive Committee.
  • If appointee is teaching in a fee-based program administered by Professional and Continuing Education (PCE), the Assistant to the Chair requests bio from appointee for the PCE web site.
  • The Assistant to the Chair inputs the appointee's information into the Faculty and Instructor Appointment Timeline spreadsheet on the department T drive and the departmental database.
  • Once the Executive Committee has voted on the academic appointment, the Assistant to the Chair notifies the appointee via email and cc's departmental staff (Chair, Associate Chair, Fiscal Specialist, Academic Services Manager, Academic Advisor, Communications Manager, and Office Manager).
  • AC drafts an offer letter; the Chair signs the letter and it is mailed to the appointee for their concurrence signature.
  • When the appointee returns his or her signed offer letter to the Assistant to the Chair, the Assistant to the Chair forwards the academic appointment packet to the COE for approval.
  • The COE forwards appointment to the UW AHR for concurrence.
  • The COE generates an approval email to the Assistant to the Chair who forwards the email to the HCDE Fiscal Specialist for entry into payroll (OPUS).
  • The Assistant to the Chair updates the quarterly instructor email listserv.
  • The Assistant to the Chair updates the quarterly PTL email. This email is sent out two weeks before the start of the academic quarter, and the week before the new quarter.

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Adjunct and Affiliate faculty

The faculty of the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering can appoint an adjunct or affiliate faculty to the department when that person’s interests are relevant to ours and when that person has made a significant contribution to our department in the areas of teaching or research and appears to be likely to continue to do so.

To qualify for or maintain an annual appointment of adjunct and affiliate, faculty are expected to participate in at least one, but preferably more than one, of the following activities annually:

  • Seminar participation or guest speaking.
  • Identification of opportunities and supervision of internship or student projects.
  • Teaching or co-teaching of courses available to HCDE students.
  • Supervision of research projects related or unrelated to thesis or dissertation work.
  • Thesis or dissertation committee membership.
  • Participation in advisory or governance groups for the Department.
  • Collaboration in the Department’s research and/or teaching activities.
  • Participation in new course development, including development of teaching materials and content for Department courses.

Additional activities and other forms of involvement are discretionary, and adjunct and affiliate faculty are encouraged to participate in University affairs in relation to their interests and time availability.

Adjunct appointments in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering are governed by the following section of the Faculty Code (vol. II–33, section 24–34):

"An adjunct appointment is made only to a faculty member (including one in each research professorial rank) already holding a primary appointment in another department. This title recognizes the contributions of a member of the faculty to a secondary department. Adjunct appointments do not confer governance or voting privileges or eligibility for tenure in the secondary department. These appointments are annual; the question of their renewal shall be considered each year by the faculty of the secondary department."

Affiliate appointments in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering are governed by the following section of the Faculty Code (vol. II–33, section 24–34):

"Appointment with an affiliate rank requires qualifications comparable to those required for appointment to the corresponding rank. It recognizes the professional contribution of an individual whose principal employment responsibilities lie outside the colleges or schools of the University. Affiliate appointments are annual; the question of their renewal shall be considered each year by the faculty of the department (or undepartmentalized college or school) in which they are held."

Reappointment, Appointment, and Promotion of Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty

Adjunct and affiliate faculty appointments are made and/or renewed every year during fall quarter. Each fall the Chair’s Office will request that each adjunct and affiliate faculty member or potential member document their participation in departmental activities. To be considered for appointment or reappointment, candidates will be asked to submit an updated CV and a list of activities about their involvement with the department in the previous year. For the initial appointment, please see the HCDE Adjunct and Affiliate Guidelines »

Adjunct and affiliate faculty will be eligible to be considered for promotion every year after serving in rank for the time that normally pertains for regular faculty (e.g., six years for Assistant Professors and with a wider range anticipated for Associate Professors). Promotion will require demonstrated evidence of ongoing involvement and success in those activities which the individual has undertaken for the Department, and a plan for continued contribution.

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Delegation of authority for appointing part-time lecturers, affiliate faculty, and research associates

Policy approved May 7, 2014

Once a year in spring quarter at an HCDE faculty meeting, the HCDE faculty will consider through a majority vote the delegation of authority to two HCDE tenure track faculty members to work with the chair to recommend the appointment of affiliate faculty, research associates, or annual or quarterly part-time lecturers. This elected committee will consist of two tenure track HCDE faculty and the HCDE Chair. This committee may coincide with members of the Chair’s Executive Committee.

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Course buyout policy

Approval Process

Faculty should submit the following information to HCDE's Curriculum Committee:

  1. Year, quarter, and course name of proposed buyout
  2. Reason(s) for buyout

The committee will make a recommendation to the department chair, taking into consideration a number of factors, including faculty presence among students, timing of the request, benefits of the course buyout, budget considerations, and availability of quality auxiliary faculty to teach the course.

The department chair will make the final decision and notify the curriculum committee and the faculty member making the request.


If the faculty member submits the request at least six months before the proposed course buyout, then he or she will have a reasonable expectation that the course buyout will be approved, because the various constituents (curriculum committee, course committee, department chair, associate chair, etc) will have enough time to evaluate the request and assist in finding an appropriate course instructor.

If the faculty member submits a request with less than six months notice, then approval may be dependent on the faculty member's ability to find an appropriate replacement instructor.

Cost of Buyout

Faculty can buy out of a course for one month of his or her salary plus benefits.

How it works

One month of a faculty member's salary is charged to the grant, gift, or other soft money. HCDE then pays for the replacement on the budget the faculty member is usually paid on.

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Peer and merit review process

Peer Reviews

All items listed below are the responsibility of the Assistant to the Chair (ATC), unless otherwise noted. The ATC checks in with the department Chair throughout the peer evaluation process.


Seven months before the peer evaluations are due: the Chair and ATC convene for a strategic planning session. Included in the planning session are:

  • Assignment of peer review teaching evaluation pairs.
  • Determination of which faculty need a full versus an abbreviated review and frequency of review (per UW handbook COE P&T procedures as of 2011).
    • Assistant professors and assistant teaching professors: full review with classroom visit every year until their review for tenure. *Must teach year before going up for tenure.
    • *Associate professors and associate teaching professors: full review with classroom visit every other year AND the year before they go up for promotion. *Must teach year before going up for promotion.
    • Full professors and teaching professors: comprehensive peer evaluation every three years with abbreviates evaluations in other years.

Communication Regarding Peer Evaluation Process

  • At the beginning of fall quarter, the ATC consults with the department Chair and determines the peer review pairs, and emails the peer review schedule to HCDE faculty. In this email, the ATC reminds faculty that if they or the faculty member they are reviewing are not teaching in winter quarter, they need to conduct the peer teaching evaluation and/or classroom visit during fall quarter. The email should also include a link to the HCDE Peer Evaluation Policy document for guidelines on what to consider in peer evaluations.
  • Monthly, the ATC sends email reminders to faculty regarding the peer evaluation due date (mid-March).
  • Faculty being reviewed and reviewers are asked to submit a signed copy of the peer review to the ATC.

Merit Reviews

Merit Review Policy


The merit review process will begin and end in early Spring Quarter. The Assistant to the Chair will work with the chair of the Merit Review Committee to establish specific timelines for each year. All vitae should use April 1 as the start and end dates for one academic year (for the purpose of merit review). Although the specific timing of each year’s process will vary, the department will follow these general guidelines:

  1. Distribute merit review memo in early spring (3/1-3/15)
  2. The review committee will budget approximately 30 minutes per faculty member being reviewed.
  3. The scheduling of these meetings will be set in early March for the early April meetings.
  4. Merit documents will be collected and distributed online to each committee member at least two weeks before each meeting.

What will be considered?

  1. Cumulative record (with a primary focus on the last year of activity, and a secondary focus on the last three years of activity). Cumulative record includes peer evals, student evals, publication lists, etc. Faculty should use the COE CV template for their annual/ongoing merit review. Faculty should use ahighlight color from MS Word to designate the current year’s activity. Annual activities should start and end on April 1, inclusive of one academic year under review. A qualitative statement on research, teaching, and service should appear at the end of the document.
  2. Most recent signed workload plan, aka Chapter 24 conference
  3. Alignment of personal and department goals
  4. Current salary and comparison to peers
  5. Any documents created in response to two consecutive years of no merit (24-55, section D)

Note on Preparation of Documents

In an effort to save time and energy during the review process, the department requires that faculty prepare these documents using certain guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines may negatively affect the merit committee’s final merit decision.

  1. Curriculum vitae should be reported in the standard format required by the COE Promotion and Tenure Committee. Workload plans will be submitted in the format agreed upon by each faculty member and the chair.
  2. Salary information will be provided by the department administrator.
  3. If needed, Chapter 24-55, Section D documents will be submitted as is.

Review Committee Recommendations

The review committee will make three recommendations after reviewing each faculty member. Those recommendations are:

  1. Merit recommendations can be (a) not meritorious, (b) meritorious, or (c) highly meritorious.
  2. Whether or not the chair should pursue additional funds to address compression, inversion, or retention issues. A recommendation to pursue these funds will have no impact on the regular merit pool. The committee will specifically state the reasons for pursuing these funds.
  3. Whether or not the faculty member being reviewed should pursue tenure and/or a promotion. This recommendation will be made for all assistant and associate professors.

Merit Review Procedure


In the fall, the Chair and Chair's Assistant (CA) convene for a planning session. Included in the planning session are:

  • Assigning peer review teaching pairs and setting a due date for faculty to turn in their peer teaching evaluations (mid-March) and merit materials to the CA (mid-April).
  • Setting a Merit Review Committee meeting dates; confirm availability of Merit Review Committee members to attend.
    • CA should book two, three-hour sessions to ensure the Merit Review Committee can complete their reviews of faculty. For meeting procedures, see Merit Review Meetings section below.
    • CA consults with Chair regarding potential CAB and Faculty Meeting dates that can be used for merit review meetings.
    • Make sure all faculty are available for both dates: Assistant Professors are unaware of CAB dates and don’t normally have them flagged on their calendars so they need to be notified if they will need to be present to review any senior lecturers.
    • CA reserves Sieg conference room, a laptop, and a projector.
  • One month before the merit review meetings: the CA assembles a merit review binder with faculty materials as they come in. The CA should make the binder available to the Chair of the Merit Review Committee for the merit review meetings.


  • Early in fall quarter, the CA consults with the department Chair and emails the peer teaching review schedule to the faculty.
  • Early in winter quarter, the CA consults with the department Chair and emails the merit review schedule and policies to HCDE faculty. The email includes details what merit materials need to be turned in (both electronic and hard copy) to the AC by mid-April:
    • Ongoing merit CV.
    • Qualitative statement.
    • Signed peer teaching evaluation (if applicable).
  • Monthly, CA emails the merit materials due date (mid-April) (reminding faculty of any missing peer evaluations).
  • These items should stay on faculty meeting agenda reminder list.
  • After the faculty turn in their merit materials to the CA: the CA makes PDFs (including peer evaluations and Chapter 24 workload agreements), compiles individual files, and places them into a Catalyst dropbox for review by the committee members senior in rank to the those being reviewed at least two weeks before each merit review meeting. The CA emails a link to the Catalyst dropbox to faculty senior in rank to those being reviewed..

Merit CVs

Faculty should use the COE merit CV template. Faculty should be reminded to include the following in their merit CVs:

  • Light grey highlights to show activities from April 1, 20XX, to April 1, 20XX, on CVs.
  • Bold all items in CVs that are forthcoming, e.g., in press, submitted, not yet awarded, not yet received, and distinguish that from what is already out. The COE CV template states:
  • Final reports on grants should be entered in the section entitled: Abstracts, letters, non-refereed papers, and technical reports (grouped by type).
  • Promotion & Tenure cases reviewed for faculty at other schools may be listed names of the faculty member reviewed should not be included.
  • HCDE committee roles: make note of those roles in CVs under section 11.0 Service.
  • List the number of citations for published papers. The COE Merit Review Committee advises: "Please give the number of citations for some or all of your papers; indicate the source of the citation counts."
  • Indicate graduate student co-authors with superscript.
  • Faculty may want to list NSF, article, and conference paper reviews.
  • MS and PhD student committees chaired or served on should include dates students graduated and separate "chaired committee" from "served on committee."
    • List PhD co-chairs.
    • Paperwork must be on file with the Graduate School officially appointing faculty as a "chair" of a committee.
    • Past MS committees: label and separate thesis from non-thesis students.

Merit Review Committee Meetings

  • The first two or three-hour session of merit meetings should include reviews of Senior Lecturers, and Assistant Professors and Associate Professor who may be going up for promotion. The meeting proceeds as follows:
    • Associate Professors going up for promotion are reviewed first only by Full Professors.
    • Next, Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors review Senior Lecturers.
    • Then, Assistant Professors leave the meeting and Associate and Full Professors review Assistant Professors.
  • The second two-hour session of meetings (attended by Full Professors only) should include:
    • Review of Associate Professors and Full Professors (Full Professors being reviewed should temporarily leave the meeting).

Follow-up to Merit Review Meetings

The Merit Review Committee drafts it merit recommendations for the department Chair.

  • The departmental Chair must notify COE HR Administrator before June 15 that the department has completed the merit reviews and whether all faculty have been found at least meritorious.
    • The email could say something like:
    • We have completed all merit reviews and all faculty were found to be meritorious. (or not, depending on the situation).
    • Once the COE HR Administrator receives confirmations from all departments within the COE, they will write a report for the Dean of the COE, which will then be sent to the Provost's office.
  • The CA will work with the Chair to draft merit letters to all faculty, starting with the text provided from the merit review committee, which the Chair may adapt, as the review committee is advisory to the Chair. The CA will help the department Chair schedule merit review meetings with some or all faculty in late June or early July to review these letters.
  • To prepare for the next cycle of merit review, the CA will help schedule Chapter 24 meetings in late summer or early fall between the Chair and relevant faculty (annually for senior lecturers and assistant professors, every two years for associate professors, and every three years for full professors). The CA will maintain a calendar of who is due to renew their Chapter 24 workload documents and notify faculty in about scheduling these meetings.

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HCDE promotion and tenure information

Policy dated 2013

The HCDE criteria for promotion and tenure stem from three sources, detailed below:

  • HCDE Amplification of UW Faculty Code Criteria for Promotion and Tenure
  • The UW Faculty Code
  • The College of Engineering Standards and Criteria for Promotion 

HCDE Criteria for Promotion and Tenure 

The UW Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering seeks to maintain and enhance its reputation as one of the strongest Human Centered Design & Engineering units in the country. Toward this end, it upholds high standards in teaching, research, and professional service.


Effectiveness of classroom teaching is a fundamental criterion for promotion and tenure within the Department. The quality of teaching can be difficult to ascertain, but the Department uses such measures as student evaluations, surveys of graduates, and a rigorous peer review system (including classroom visitation and self‐ assessment). 

The field of Human Centered Design & Engineering is evolving rapidly. Thus, another important measure of teaching effectiveness is the updating of existing courses and the development of new courses and programs that support our goals. 

Other significant components of teaching effectiveness are individual instruction (which includes offering   directed research groups, HCDE496/596) and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students. In the case of graduate students, faculty are expected to effectively supervise doctoral students and serve on doctoral committees so that students are successfully launched into their professional lives.


The Department looks for outstanding intellectual achievement in academic research. The Department values various forms of research and scholarship equally, including empirical research on human subjects, speculative and theoretical work, creative synthesis of previous research, the creation of innovative and important systems and technologies, and pedagogical research and scholarship. This research is valued according to the quality of work and the degree to which it advances the state of the art in the field. 

A key measure of research excellence is publication in important, refereed, archival professional journals (whatever the medium of delivery of the journal) and  peer reviewed proceedings. Ability to attract funding, in particular peer‐reviewed awards from prestigious funding agencies, is also direct evidence of successful scholarship and research.  Presentations and proceeding publications at key national conferences are another important measure. Books, book chapters, and technical reports are also regarded as important research achievements when there is evidence of the impact of the work. Significant impact or influence on the directions of the field is another indication of high quality.

The objective assessment of a faculty member’s research by eminent individuals in the field is another important indicator of quality research. This assessment may come about through published commentary and reviews of the faculty member’s work and through letters solicited specifically for the promotion and tenure process. 

Professional Service 

Professional service is valued as a significant contribution to the field of Human Centered Design & Engineering and therefore is both a reflection and a contributor to a faculty member’s reputation. Valued professional service includes presentations at meetings and forums, service to professional organizations as well as local, national, and international committees, consulting, and teaching of professional‐development seminars. 

Sustained Level of Activity 

The Department looks for evidence of a commitment to sustained activity in teaching, research, and service. 

UW Faculty Code: Promotion & Tenure

UW Guidelines for Evaluating Research/Scholarship, Teaching, & Service Activities 

For the more current UW information on promotion and tenure, faculty should read chapters 24 (promotion) and chapter 25 (tenure) of the UW Faculty Code

College of Engineering 

COE Standards and Criteria for Promotion For the more current College of Engineering information on promotion and tenure, faculty should read the College of Engineering Promotion and Tenure Toolkit

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Sabbatical information

Each year, the College of Engineering (COE) is allocated a limited number of quarters of Sabbatical Leave with Pay. Faculty members who meet certain eligibility criteria (described below) may apply for this leave annually each fall quarter.

A faculty member who wishes to apply for a sabbatical will prepare an application dossier and forward it to the HCDE Chair and Assistant to the Chair.

The Chair will review the application and prepare a cover letter citing their independent recommendation related to the leave. The entire package will be submitted to the Dean.

The application and Chair's letter will be reviewed by the Dean, who will then submit a recommendation to the President. The Board of Regents have final authority to grant leave upon recommendation from the President.

Faculty members are generally notified of their sabbatical award status during winter quarter.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Faculty are eligible for a sabbatical no earlier than the seventh year of service to the University or no earlier than the seventh year after return from a previous sabbatical.
  • Faculty are encouraged to contact the Dean's Office, UW Academic Human Resources, or the Assistant to the Chair of HCDE for assistance in determining their eligibility for a sabbatical.
  • Assistant Professors are not eligible for paid professional leave until they have been reviewed and approved for tenure/promotion.

Applications for a sabbatical are accepted by the COE annually during fall quarter (early November). Applications should be submitted at least 9 months in advance of the date of the proposed leave.

For more detailed information about what to include in your sabbatical request, please refer to the step-by-step process on the COE Faculty Resources web page.

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HCDE Faculty Incidental Funding Policy 

Approved: February 6, 2019 

Overview & Goals 

HCDE faculty are in need of financial support to cover a range of incidental expenses associated with being faculty. The goal of this policy is to provide annual financial support to cover incidental expenses. 

Faculty Eligibility 

All faculty members who are 100% FTE in HCDE and who are funded to teach, at least partially, through HCDE/HCDE programs (i.e., BS HCDE, MS HCDE, and PhD) are eligible to participate. 

Allocation Process 

At the start of each academic year the Department Chair, in consultation with the Department Administrator, will reserve an amount of funding that will be used for faculty incidentals. This fund will be allocated based on 09xxxx budget related funds that are returned to the Department from its self-sustaining programs. The funds will be available for one academic year (September 16 through September 15 of the subsequent year) and will not accrue. The total fund allocation will vary from year to year based on availability of funds. The general goal is to reserve enough funding to provide each eligible faculty member access to $2000 during the academic year. In the event that the Department is in deficit or if the allocation of these funds would put the Department in deficit, then the fund will not be allocated. Once the Department Chair and the Department Administrator have decided on the total amount to reserve for this fund, the total amount will be divided by the number of faculty who are eligible. The Department Chair will email the faculty to announce the specific individual amount that each eligible faculty member will be able to draw on for the academic year. The Department fiscal services staff will maintain a record of available Faculty Incidental Funds allocated to each faculty and will track the expenses. Individual faculty will not be able to spend or commit funds in excess of the amount announced as available to each individual. 

Requesting/Use Process 

Faculty using these funds need to request the use through standard spending processes indicating that the purchase or reimbursement will use their “Faculty Incidental Funds”. 

Use Restrictions 

Faculty Incidental Funds carry the same restrictions as standard state funds.

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Computing refresh and replacement guidelines

The goal of this guideline is to outline the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) standards and practices for replacing the computing equipment provided to faculty and staff.

A process that regularly replaces equipment will minimize overall expenses and time that is devoted to problem solving by the HCDE Information Technology (IT) Department.

General Replacement Cycle

HCDE will follow a 4 year computer refresh cycle. Systems should have at least a 3-year warranty (potentially covered by a fee based extended warranty) and equipment should ideally last 4 years.

Faculty Replacement

Faculty will be allowed to choose a laptop or desktop computer model and manufacturer that meets their needs within a $3000 limit. If the faculty chooses a machine over $3000 the balance over $3000 can be covered on a university budget that would normally allow the faculty member to purchase equipment. The faculty member can also opt to allocate their computing refresh budget to other technology such as additional monitors, software, or a tablet.

This policy does not cover tablets nor server class equipment.

Faculty who have multiple systems will only be able to have one new computer replaced by the Department. The Department is only providing one new device during each refresh cycle. When replacing a computer, faculty may opt to continue using their old system as a backup or may request to have it follow the Replaced Equipment Recycling policy below.

Replaced Equipment Recycling

Upon replacement, an older computer will be cleaned of data and re-imaged with a current operating system. Older equipment is available for use internally in this priority order:

  1. faculty research projects
  2. administrative special projects
  3. addition to the student check-out pool

Any unused systems may be donated to other departments on campus or sent to UW surplus.

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